28 February 2014

Americans more in love with internet than TV

According to a recent survey, Americans love the internet so much that they would rather do without television than online access.

Americans have become so enamoured of the internet, they would more readily forgo television than online access, a survey showed.

The Pew Research Centre survey released ahead of the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web found that 53% of US internet users would find it "very hard" to give up Web access, up from 38% in 2006.

Even when counting those who don't go online, Pew said 46% of all adults would find it hard to give up the internet.

By contrast, Pew's survey showed that for 35% of all US adults television would be very hard to give up, compared with 44% in 2006.

Women were more likely than men to be attached to the internet, as were people with higher levels of income and education, Pew said in the report issued ahead of the 12 March anniversary.

Cell phone close second

The cell phone comes in a close second to the internet: 49% of mobile phone owners said it would be difficult to give up their handset, up from 43% in 2006. That amounts to 44% of all adults who say now that their cell phone would be very hard to live without.

Meanwhile landline telephones are losing favour.

Just 28% of landline telephone owners said it would be a hardship to live without this, a big drop from 48% in 2006. Because many people have already dropped their landlines, the finding means that just 17% of all adults would find their landline very hard to give up.

Pew noted the spectacular growth in use of the Web, especially since 1995. Some 87% of American adults use the internet, either from a PC or mobile device, up from 14% in 1995.

Pew also found that Americans are using the Web more often: 71% go online on a typical day, compared with 29% in 2000.

In 1995, 42% of US adults had never heard of the internet and another 21% had only a vague notion of what it was.

Primary online access point

The rise of mobile device use represents the biggest shift in access in recent years: 68% of US adults now access the internet on a cell phone, tablet, or other mobile device, at least occasionally, Pew found.

Pew found that 90% of US adults have a cell phone and two-thirds of those use their device to go online. A third of cell phone owners say that their primary online access point is their phone.

Mobile access took a huge leap forward with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, and some 58% of adults have a smartphone now.

Main activity for millions

The report found 90% of Internet users say the World Wide Web has been a good thing for them personally and only 6% say it has been a bad thing.

Three out of four said it been a good thing for society, while 15% say it has been negative.

"Using the Web – browsing it, searching it, sharing on it – has become the main activity for hundreds of millions of people around the globe," Pew said. "Its birthday offers an occasion to revisit the ways it has made the internet a part of Americans' social lives."

Read more:

Moms use TV to calm fussy babies
Strict parents linked to internet addiction
More clinics to treat internet addicts




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